UK startup develops device to combat tyre wear pollution

Tyre wear is a major contributor to polluting microplastics — small particles which don’t biodegrade and tend to accumulate in the environment, leaking harmful toxins into the air and our waterways. And although there’s no respective EU regulation yet, a London-based startup has developed a device that can capture these particles.

The Tyre Collective started out as a master’s project by three former students of the Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, who founded the startup in 2020. It claims to have developed the first-ever device that captures tyre pollution.

The team discovered that tyre particles are charged from friction with the road. Based on that, it developed its patent-pending technology which uses electrostatics and airflow to attract up to 60% of these particles. Once captured, they can be upcycled as a micronised rubber into a variety of applications such as 3D printing, shoe soles, and soundproofing — creating, thus, a closed-loop system.